During General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I always look forward to the announcement of new temples for the Church, but it has never been a very personal experience for me. This Conference weekend, as I sat listening to President Thomas S. Monson announce the new temple sites for the Church, my heart almost stopped as he announced that the Provo Tabernacle would be built into a temple.
I experienced pure excitement at this unexpected announcement; never before had a temple been announced that would be built in such close proximity to where I grew up. I have attended church meetings in that building since I was very small. I remember hopping down Center Street with my sister, trying to avoid the cracks, as we made our way to the building. My whole family was able to fit on one row on the balcony. I marveled at the structure of the building—the carefully crafted stained glass, the polished wood, and the intricately designed pillars. Christmastime was my favorite time to go and my love for my family and my church grew as we sanghymns praising the birth of Christ as soft flakes of snow glittered outside.
There is a feeling of peace on that sacred land, and having the Tabernacle as a temple will be such an incredible blessing. It was in this building that I had the opportunity to hear from many Church leaders. My knowledge of the gospel has been strengthened there on so many different occasions. The fact that this building will now be available for individuals to be sealed to their families for time and all eternity is such a great blessing. It is amazing to me that despite the effects of a devastating fire, a beautiful, historic building is able to be built to further the work of the gospel of Jesus Christ and to bring families together.